How Long Does It Take To Cross The Atlantic?

2022-10-14 / 2 min

October marks a special anniversary regarding transatlantic air travel. A special anniversary in the world of passenger aviation, with October 4th, 1958 being the date of the first jet-powered transatlantic commercial flight. Here are some variables that affect the speed at which a plane crosses this ocean.

Aircraft type

A key factor is the aircraft being used. While modern jetliners are in a similar ballpark regarding speed, there used to be more variation. This was particularly obvious with the supersonic Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde airliner flying between Europe and North America. Transatlantic routes were in between of 3 hours and 30 to 3 hours and 45 minutes. However, under certain conditions, it could fly even faster. For example, its New York-London record is 2 hours, 52 minutes, and 59 seconds.

The route

Route of a transatlantic flight also plays a role in dictating its length. For example, Aer Lingus flies from Shannon in western Ireland to Boston, with the Massachusetts city being further up the eastern coast than New York. These flights duration of just 6 hours and 55 minutes, with the return being even shorter, at 6 hours and 5 minutes.

Looking further south, direct flights across the Atlantic Ocean between Africa and South America are in shorter supply. TAAG Angola Airlines’ flights from its Luanda hub to São Paulo/Guarulhos have a scheduled block time of 8 hours and 30 minutes.

Direction and wind speed

Flights, North America to Europe are faster than those traveling in the opposite direction. This is because these flights benefit not from the earth’s rotation, but rather from jetstreams. These fast-flowing, high-altitude air currents help eastbound flights cross the Atlantic quicker than their westbound counterparts.

In February 2020, a British Airways Boeing 747 set a subsonic transatlantic speed record when, assisted by the winds of Storm Ciara, it flew from New York to London in four hours and 56 minutes. Since 1958, transatlantic jet travel has come a long way!

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Supply Chain Challenges Faced by Aviation

2022-10-07 / 2 min

Aerospace supply chains have become more fragile due to greater globalization, increased complexity, as well as price inflation. Staffing shortages have caused airports to cancel thousands of flights. As a result of that, aircraft manufacturers are experiencing longer lead times on their production lines.

The economic unrest has instigated a wave of new challenges, with sanctions and conflict restricting the flow of critical resources.

As demand for commercial, civil and defense aviation recovers, the difficulty for companies is returning employee headcount to pre-pandemic levels. This has led to a bottleneck in the supply chain, further exacerbating the fragility of aerospace supply chains.

The combined effects of these underestimated disruptions has made it even more evident that supply chains, no matter how mature, are far more unadaptable than to be believed. Operational strategies currently focused on digital should also include a strong risk preparedness component, greater transparency and sustainability.

This is particularly important as aerospace supply chains are susceptible to various external factors such as natural disasters, geopolitical tensions, and economic fluctuations. By incorporating risk preparedness measures, companies can mitigate the impact of unforeseen disruptions and ensure a more resilient supply chain. Additionally, enhancing transparency and sustainability practices can not only improve operational efficiency. It also can empower to meet the growing expectations of customers and stakeholders.

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, when a major disruption in aviation industry has presented itself. The key question is how can respond now, and how it would be able to respond in the future. Maintaining profitability and a healthy balance sheet during such an event is certainly achievable.

Underestimating the next set of global disruptions is perhaps inevitable as we can not know the future. However, companies which take proactive balanced steps to mitigate supply chain risks, are more likely to be able to enjoy continued success and profitability.

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